CRESSKILL, N.J., July 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- September 11th First Responders are being urged to register by October 13, 2013 for Victims Compensation Fund (VCF) benefits, in light of the recent Mount Sinai study that revealed their cancer rates are 15 percent higher than the general population. Meanwhile, registered Zadroga claimants who have received the first installment of their VCF settlement awards may be too ill to benefit from the second, much larger payment, which isn't due until 2016. Therefore, to ease responders' immediate financial burdens, RD Legal Funding, LLC ("RD Legal") is making accelerated settlement funding available to Zadroga claimants by advancing a portion of their second installment.
Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and Representative Jerrold Nadler recently held a press conference urging 9/11 responders to register for benefits even if they are not currently ill — or risk losing them. Missing the October 13, 2013 VCF registration deadline means automatic exclusion from benefits.
Many published studies reported cancer rates were significantly higher among responders than the general population, highlighting the critical importance of responders protecting their rights to collect health care and other benefits in the future. Mount Sinai Hospital's World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP study) reviewed data collected from 20,984 responders between 2001 and 2008. The study was the first to correlate cancer rates to levels of WTC dust exposure. Not surprisingly, the WTCHP study found the highest levels of cancer among workers who had the highest degree of contact with the toxic dust. Epidemiologists are alarmed to find slow-developing cancers appearing so quickly. The most common cancers were thyroid, prostate, and blood cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma. However, prostate cancer is still not on the list of cancers covered by the VCF benefits.
The median age of the 20,984 responders studied by the WTCHP was 38 on 9/11. The median time they spent working at Ground Zero was 57 days. They are:
- 85% male
- 59% white
- 58% never smoked
- 43% were exposed to the dust cloud on September 11, 2001
The 2010 James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act reopened and expanded the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund. Health monitoring and financial aid was extended to 9/11 clean-up workers, however cancers were excluded from the list of "covered" illnesses. This, even though workers were certainly exposed to known and suspected carcinogenic chemicals in burning jet fuel and the toxic dust released by the collapse of the Twin Towers. Cancers were not added to the list until June 2012.
The October 13, 2013 registration deadline applies to responders, their families or the representatives of those who have passed away, who plan to file a claim with the VCF. To qualify, they must have known (or reasonably should have known) since October 3, 2011, of physical harm resulting from the September 11th attacks.
Only responders who meet the following guidelines can register after October 13, 2013:
- Those who learned after October 3, 2011 of physical harm suffered as a result of the 9/11 attacks must register by October 3, 2016.
- Those whose known condition was not on the original list of qualified injuries but was added to the list after October 3, 2011 must register by October 3, 2016.
- Those diagnosed with cancer resulting from the 9/11 attacks and the diagnosis was known on or before October 12, 2012 must register by October 12, 2014.
The brave men and women who answered the call to help in our country's hour of need are ill. Some have died and many are dying. RD Legal wants to help before it is too late and will provide settlement funding to responders who need access to their Zadroga funds immediately. For more information, contact RD Legal at 1-800-565-5177 and ask for Joseph Genovesi. Also, visit http://www.legalfunding.com to learn more and begin the application process. Founded in 1998, RD Legal is one of the nation's leading providers of lawsuit settlement funding to attorneys and plaintiffs.
SOURCE RD Legal Funding